Those of you who haven’t talked to me in a while may not know that I’m currently at business school, going to class, doing homework, eating in a cafeteria and all the other things that students do.
Because I came to business school later than most, I get asked constantly if it is “worth it”. A few thoughts on that:
I don’t want to beat the odds. I want to turn the odds in my favor. Great success always encompasses an element of chance, but when you consider people like VCs and entrepreneurs who have been repeatedly successful across many events normally considered “chancy” you have to consider the idea that there are certain things those people do to change the odds in their favor.
Viewed within the next 3 years, business school undoubtedly leaves me worse off than I would have been without it; but if we’re all going to have 40 year careers, is a 2 years and $200k-ish investment in a key set of skills, a network and a credential a rational investment? I’d argue yes. Am I learning? Absolutely and a lot. Am I meeting interesting people? Interesting does not begin to cover it. Am I having fun? Definitely. Does this degree directly open up new, more lucrative careers than I had access to before? Unclear; But that’s not what I’m looking for.
Subjects like finance, marketing and accounting, are all pretty fascinating to me. (Yes, seriously, accounting! The mechanics of GAAP is not so interesting but the managerial accounting material is really cool.) More importantly, I think having those skills will make the ventures I undertake more likely to succeed. Of course the world is full examples of people who have succeeded without the formal training I’m paying for, but in my mind if success is to be a repeatable event rather than a random land of the dice, deep knowledge of those disciplines is extremely helpful.
Is it ultimately worth it? Time will tell.